In this video report, NewsHour correspondent Tom Bearden reports from Colorado on how the state's $2 billion budget deficit will impact it's homeless population.
The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, which recently had to shut down its mobile clinic, is just one program that has seen dramatic funding cuts.
Forty-three states have seen cuts to their services because of budget problems and according to John Parvensky, president of the Coalition, cuts like these could dramatically impact the ability of organizations to actually save the lives of Americans.
"It's very discouraging, and it's very heart-wrenching. Every day, I walk through the lobby and see more and more people, families with kids, adults, who are waiting for help," Parvensky says.
"Freaking me out kind of, because, like now, when you are homeless, that's a whole day. And that's a lot. You are trying to find a safe place and warm place to sleep, and trying to make some money, so you can do what you have to do. And it's -- it's hard. And, sometimes, it's impossible." - Sheri, homeless
"It's the worst recession since the Great Depression. Anybody who finds themselves in a position where they are trying to reconcile the shortfalls, I think, are dealing with really the worst budget decision we have seen since the 1930s." - Gov. Bill Ritter, D-Colorado
"If we see more and more people in the shelters and on the streets, more people who are denied access to the health and the mental health services that they need, there's no escaping the fact that there will be more people dying on the streets of our country." - John Parvensky, president, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
1. Where do states get their money? What kinds of services do states provide?
2. Where can homeless people go for help?
1. What did you learn from this video? Have you seen similar funding cuts for services in your community?
2. How are the homeless impacted by a bad economy? What extra problems do they face?
3. What kinds of decisions do politicians and government budget keepers have to make? What services would you cut if your state had a budget deficit?
4. Why might it be difficult to prioritize certain areas over others? Who does the governor have to answer to when he makes cuts in certain areas like education versus cuts to services for the homeless. How might those decisions affect his agenda?
Read the transcript of this report :